I always used to think of naps being something that those that were either under the age of five or for lazy people. The thought of yawning mid-day and stretching out on the couch with a blanket in hand and snoozing off in peaceful slumber, while the birds were out seemed like such a waste. Why in the world, when there was so much to get accomplished, would one take time out to nap?
Well, as you can imagine, as I’ve grown in age and experience, I have learned just how vital napping can be, how it helps me personally and professionally. When we take time to let our minds rest and recharge, a “power-nap”, if you will, we become more alert and focused on the tasks at hand. Research now backs this up. According to the National Sleep Foundation:
Naps can restore alertness, enhance performance, and reduce mistakes and accidents. A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness 100%.
If napping is so great for us, for those that need to be super focused and alert, we should remove any stigma we have that says they are signs of laziness. I think the root of that thought all goes back to the idea that productive people just go and go; they don’t stop to take care of themselves, which is another mindset I had to break personally.
So, have no guilt. Get a pillow and a plush fleece blanket–and…..nap….. away…zzzzzzzzz.